Resume Post – Education

Hopefully you have taken the time to review the WORK EXPERIENCE post I put up in reference to building your resume and now today we will look at how to incorporate your education as well. This post will not be as long as the previous, but it still needs to be said that you should highlight your scholarly experience. When applying to a position there is always the option of using education over previous work experience to become a successful applicant and this area should be used to obtain a position if your education is suited for the position even when you’ve never done the actual job. I can’t guarantee this will turn the tide in your favor for the position, but it will most likely warrant an interview.

Where to begin…

All undergraduate degrees have a similar path. There are the basic foundational skills of learning. English, History, Critical Thinking, World history, Religion, Math courses, and most degrees now even require certain basic level courses for computer literacy within the structure of a degree. While these courses were important, they were foundational and not necessarily capstone courses of an advanced area. Let’s consider them as Introductory in nature. There are of course other courses which have weight to them such as languages, perhaps you chose to learn Chinese, French, Spanish, German or any other variety of language, these I would add to the list we will begin to building, but only if you have better than a basic grasp of the language. To gain certain positions with a language requirement, you will need more than conversational fluency, email the application POC if you have questions. KNOW there will be a fluency test. I will provide my examples of courses I have listed within my USAJOBS.GOV resume to show you how you should elect to highlight those courses which I believe are considered meaningful and of note, especially should you be applying to a position based on education alone.

The courses that I believe are worth mentioning are the junior and senior level courses one chooses to pursue in their actual degree program. The list could be exhaustive depending on your chosen degree. As my degrees are in Social Work and Psychology, only the junior and senior level courses I have noted on my resume. This is important because it provides the level of education that I have obtained within different parameters of my fields. They include foundational course work as well as research areas that I had to produce in order to earn my degrees. What isn’t included is the grades I received. While that may be important if you are being considered for a program that hires only graduates with a certain GPA, I don’t believe that’s necessary within the submission of your educational profile, mainly if you are selected for a program that has basic GPA merits for applicants, the Federal HR professional will request a transcript from your school in order to verify your GPA. So let’s forget about the grades and concentrate on the meat and potatoes of those classes you took instead.

Here is how I have listed my course work I took at my college. Each course is listed as well as the credit hours for each course. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it provides you with an idea of what I believe stand out in regards to your education and proves that you have the requested skills.

  • Practice with Culturally Diverse Populations  -3 Semester Hrs
  • Social Work Welfare Programs and Policies -3 Semester Hrs
  • Human Behavior and Social Education I-II -3 Semester Hrs
  • Child Maltreatment and Families -3 Semester Hrs
  • Social Work Interventions with Families and Individuals -3 Semester Hrs
  • Social Work Interventions with Groups -3 Semester Hrs
  • Social Work Research -3 Semester Hrs
  • Specialized Groups -3 Semester Hrs
  • Public Speaking -3 Semester Hrs
  • Theories of Personality -3 Semester Hrs
  • Contemporary Ethical Issues -3 Semester Hrs

You should also be aware of the opportunity to highlight any work you have done scholastically or professionally that has been published. There is also a section within your online application that has an area for these submissions. Post all published work or possible work in progress that will be published in scholastic or trade journals utilizing whatever format MLA for example that will be used.

I know this will be helpful to all of you building that winning resume. Happy career hunting.


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